Susan Akkad serves as the Senior Vice President, Local and Cultural Innovation at The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC). In this role, she leads both the Skin of Color and the Ageless Centers of Expertise, collaborating with the brands, regions, and functions to drive and deliver product and commercial innovations that increase share, relevancy, and connection with these consumers.
Susan’s impressive career spans more than three decades at The Estée Lauder Companies, with a variety of key leadership roles across brands and functions, touching every aspect of the company’s business. Prior to her current role, she was Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Artist Relations at MAC, overseeing the brand’s dynamic communications strategy and the vital work of the MAC AIDS Fund. Preceding this role, she served as Vice President of Global Marketing at Origins and as Vice President of Global Treatment Marketing at Clinique. She held several other positions at Clinique and the Estée Lauder brand before that.
A fierce advocate and dedicated mentor in both official and unofficial capacities, Susan is committed to developing talent internally. Susan helped create ELC’s From Every Chair Leadership Program, an initiative designed to promote equitable advancement, access, advocacy, and professional development opportunities for the company’s Black employees. She now serves as sponsor for this program. Susan also serves on the company’s Racial Equity Task Force, is an executive sponsor NOBLE, the company’s Black employee resource group, and is also an executive sponsor of the Inclusive Beauty Advisory Board.
In addition to her roles at The Estée Lauder Companies, Susan is incredibly active in the industry at large, serving on the World Federation of Advertisers’ Diversity & Inclusion Task Force as well as on the Advancing Black Women Task Force of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), where she also sits on the Board of Governors.
Susan is a recognized thought leader in the inclusive beauty space and has earned a reputation for ensuring that the beauty industry is continuously expanding its focus on inclusivity to better serve all consumers. Her honors include being named to the Ulta Beauty MUSE 100 list and Ebony’s “Power 100” list. She has received the Business Achievement Award from the Black Retail Action Group (BRAG), was twice named one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing and was recognized by WWD Beauty Inc. as one of the 50 Most Influential in the Multicultural Beauty Market. Susan is a subject matter expert on Consumers of Color and Inclusive Beauty. She is a frequent speaker at industry events as well as at universities and business schools across the country.
Susan is a native Virginian and grew up near Charlottesville. She holds her undergraduate degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. She lives in East Hampton, NY with her husband and Italian Greyhound and sits on the Board of Trustees of the East Hampton Library.